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Meet Carmine Sabatella of CSDomains in Pasadena and Downtown LA

Today we’d like to introduce you to Carmine Sabatella.

Carmine, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
When you work with me, prepare for a fast pace. At my previous agency – my first after obtaining my license – my manager said that in his 20 years in the business, he had never experienced a new agent who reached the goals that I reached in such a short time. In my first year, I was in the top 1 percent of their 57,000 agents nationwide for sales volume. Most recently, I’ve obtained Top 100 in Production and Sales, Top 1% of the Berkshire Hathaway Network and was ranked number 3 in the Pasadena office. This career just seems to come naturally to me and after just three short years, I already feel as though I am a veteran agent.

Why Berkshire Hathaway Home Services California Properties?
I chose Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties over other brokerages because of the cachet the name carries. I love that it is a Warren Buffett company and the reputation and presence it has in the real estate community and Pasadena. I love the accelerated marketing offered to agents, which I haven’t experienced elsewhere in my real estate career. The company as a whole is really dedicated to helping its agents perform to their best ability.

What led me to real estate?

I have a background in interior design and landscape architecture. It was a hobby for 20 years while I was in the restaurant business. I completed a lot of design jobs on the side as a creative outlet. Because I loved real estate, I thought combining everything I know about design, landscaping and marketing enabled me to maximize a property’s potential. When I transitioned into real estate, I was able to incorporate that experience and passion into my transactions, which I really enjoy.

My way of doing business:
What I like about real estate is that every sale, every listing, every purchase is a different experience. You’re dealing with different personalities, different lives. I enjoy meeting people, getting to know them and helping them. I befriend my clients and stay friends with them. I get invited to dinners and family gatherings and for me, that keeps it new and fresh. I’m a very intuitive person. In a very short time, I can usually get a full understanding of what a client is looking for. I’ve had people say to me, “Wow, you just get it.” I have a huge social media presence via Facebook, Instagram and other platforms. These tools have helped me and my clients tremendously.

Finding a home in the Pasadena office:

I love the office culture here. It’s fantastic. Everyone is very welcoming. Our branch manager, Marilyn Simon, is unbelievably accommodating. I’m very happy and can see myself thriving here.

Work philosophy:
Treat people the way you want to be treated. Give them the benefit of the doubt. I pride myself on being respectful, courteous and understanding.

On the personal side:
I love to travel with my 11-year-old daughter. My goal is to get her to see the world before she’s 20. I also rehab homes of architectural significance built from the late 1800s to 1965, about 10 to 12 a year. I am a complete foodie and I love extreme sports like whitewater rafting, horseback riding, anything that gives me an adrenaline rush. I also volunteer a lot at my daughter’s school and with the Pasadena Humane Society.

My Mantra:
“I’m going to make everything around me beautiful – that will be my life.” – Elsie de Wolfe

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
After I graduated from USC, I opened an Italian restaurant with my family in Pasadena. About 5 years after, I opened up my own cocktail lounge in Pasadena. I was successful in the restaurant business for over 20 years. However, the last 5/6 years of the business, I found myself unhappy and unfulfilled. I have always been fascinated with interior and landscape design as well as real estate. I practiced these crafts on the side to keep myself creative and engaged in that passion. I finally decided to liquidate my businesses at 38 years old and make a huge career change. While I was selling my businesses, I started to study for my real estate license. This transition was about a yearlong process. I had no income coming in so I took a job as a personal shopper at Nordstrom. I was now selling my businesses and still working there, studying for real estate exam and working almost 35 hours a week at Nordstrom to make ends meet. I finally sold my businesses and didn’t make nearly as much as I anticipated. I got my real estate license and begin a mentorship and gave up Nordstrom to take a part time job as a designer for a staging company. I was literally living like a gypsy so that I could pursue this dream in real estate, which was beyond scary. It got so bad that I actually had to borrow $50,000 from a friend to keep myself above water. Never in my life have I been without money, let alone borrow that much from a friend. But I had a dream that I believed in and I had faith that I was going to be successful in my new career path. During my mentorship, I was practicing real estate with a Beverly Hills agency but was finding that the clientele and pace of that market weren’t the fit that I was looking for. After a lunch with a friend and fellow seasoned agent from Pasadena, I decided to make a switch to Sothebys in Pasadena, since Pasadena was where I was established and rooted. After two months of being in the Pasadena office, I got my first sale and after that I took off like wild fire. In the first year, I made it into the top 10 in the office and remained there for several years. I am now with Berkshire Hathaway and I’m number 3 in my office.

When I first started selling real estate I was dealing with clients who wanted to try and flip properties. So I would find them a good property, aid them in their renovation, do the design for them, stage the home and list the finished product. It was a lot of work to do for just a commission. I decided after a short period of time, to sell my home that I loved in order to have the working capital to start my own renovation company CSDOMAINS. I now currently flip anywhere between 12-15 luxury homes a year and it is very successful. Needless to say, this was not an easy road for me, but I had faith in what I believed in and I never gave up. Now, I am one of the top agents in my area and CSDOMAINS is flourishing.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the CSDOMAINS INC story. Tell us more about the business.
CSDOMAINS was established in 2015 and I call it a property rehab company. I am the owner and president of the company and I run the show in its entirety. I work on vintage homes that were built in the late 1800’s up to 1955. I don’t typically like to work on anything later than mid-century. I take a home and breathe life back into it. I try to salvage and restore everything original that I can while marrying it with modern necessities to meet the needs of today’s buyer. What sets me aside from the average flipper is that I treat every project differently and I put all of myself into each home that I renovate. Passion, love, detail and integrity go into each project and it shows. People come through my homes and say, “Wow, it’s so refreshing to see something done so well and so stylized!” My front doors are my signature trait!

Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
I don’t believe in luck, I believe that we all control our destiny and everything that I have achieved or fallen short of I have had control of those outcomes. I never think, wow I just got lucky. I think, wow I just made this happen!

Contact Info:

  • Address: 982 Montecito Drive
    Los Angeles, CA 90031
  • Website: www.carminesabatella.com
  • Phone: 626-394-9212
  • Email: homesbycarmine@gmail.com

Image Credit:
Trish Reda Photography, Gina Sabatella Fotos

Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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